Welcome to another A LOOK AT article. In this series we examine YOUR work. This could be prints, zines, exhibitions, stamps, and whatever else you can imagine. Today we’re excited to be sharing a zine project with you: TOUR DOGS.

If you’re not familiar with TOUR DOGS, then you’re missing out. Trey Derbes releases zines featuring the work of a photographer that he admires, and he gives the zines out for free. Yes, you read that correctly: FREE

Here’s what Trey Derbes has to say about the project he’s producing:

“I work a day job that pays me well so I use that money to fund the zines.  The zines are small so the costs are really low.   For the why, I think that photos look much better in print/book form.  Photos look and feel different when viewed only on Instagram.  So I wanted to make a way to get printed photos by my favorite photographers to everyone in a zero friction sort of way.   When it’s all free there’s no hesitation to get one.  This way people from all over the world get physical copies of photos, which is great for the photographers, I think.  It’s also a way to give to the photography community.”

How brilliant is that? There’s two things in that statement I want to highlight:

  1. Trey is pretty selfless. We love it when people produce things for the sake of the community. I think our motive for creating YOUR EXHIBITION is similar; it’s about giving people the platform to share work that is worthy of being shared.

  2. Photos are meant to be appreciated in print, not just digitally. Don’t get us wrong, we love how accessible art is online, but photography should be appreciated physically; tangibly. 

How does it work? Every month he produce 20 zines focussed on the work of a single photographer. Then he does an Instagram post announcing the zine, and the first 20 people to direct message TOUR DOGS’ Instagram get a copy. It’s really that simple, but they do go quickly, so you have to be fast!

Now that we’ve got to know Trey and the awesome service he’s offering in TOUR DOGS, let’s take a look at a couple of his zines that we’ve managed to get.

The zines themselves are both the same form factor and are made with premium materials. It’s actually remarkable how well produced these zines are. The printing I excellent; the blacks are dark and the whites are bright. Typically contrast on such paper can be an issue, but these are flawless. The paper choice on these two are different, but they’re brilliant and fitting for each zine. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

The first is FOOTBALL featuring images by Don Hudson. Here’s what he had to say about this zine:

In the early summer of 1978 I moved to a small town north of Ann Arbor Michigan. Later that summer, learning of the enthusiasm of the for the local high school football team, I decided to go to a game with my rangefinder camera, wide angle lens, and strobe, to see what I could make of things. I wound up going back for the next four seasons.

This is how introductions should be done. Its concise, but does exactly what it needs to: spark interest to experience what Don did, and to learn what it was that kept him there for four seasons.

As Don has used a wide angel lens, these spreads feel really immersive. You get to see so much included in these scenes. Here’s a few of my favourites.

These next two are just brilliant uses of the wide angle. It’s close to the action, but you still get to see so many atmosphere-creating details like the cheerleader skirts, the flags and the various members of the team. Brilliant zine full of brilliant works. 

The next zine we managed to get is Baia Mare by Ioana Marinca. Here’s a quote the precedes the images:

“It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.”

- Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

This zine, like many we’ve featured in the A LOOK AT series, has a location as a focal point, or as least that’s what the title suggests. But the quote partnered with the images speak of the beauty of life, and the things we hold on to when people pass. 

This first image, which is available as a darkroom print on Ioana’s website, is perfect. I seldom describe works as perfect, but I’m not sure I could speak higher of this image. It’s stunning and sharp in the right places, the contrast adds to the image, and the interaction between the subject and Ioana can not be understated. I love this image. Flawless.

The other images are varied and speak about the diversity of the people we meet in our lifetimes. There are many figures in these images, and each scene manages to tell a different story. Here are a couple:

In summary, you should check out TOUR DOGS. The quality of these zines is only second to the quality of the imagery inside them. Trey has done an exceptional job in producing a monthly zine that celebrates work that he hasn’t shot. It demonstrates an excellent understanding of photography to be able to curate such great works into such a brilliant package FOR FREE. This is certainly worth spending money on.

If this is something you’d like to support, Trey has recently offered a paid subscription service. As he gives away 20 copies, it’s tough to get your hands on them! To guarantee yourself a copy, pay the reasonable fee for the subscription. We believe that these zines are more than worth the money that he’s offering these for, so we’ve signed up! Join us in supporting him here. Make sure you show your support for the featured photographers too. You can do so here: Don Hudson and Ioana Marinca.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this article, check out the other A LOOK AT articles here. And before we sign off, do you know of any projects we should check out? We’d love to hear from you! Send us a DM here.